Airline conman Victor Bassey "can't be deported"

The Northern Echo: Fraudster: Victor Bassey Fraudster: Victor Bassey

A CONMAN whose bogus airline collapsed leaving a mountain of debt is avoiding deportation by refusing to reveal his nationality.

Convicted fraudster Victor Bassey – who was jailed for two years for setting up a fake airline – has been detained by the UK Border Agency while officials make plans to expel him.

But Bassey is causing a headache for the authorities by staying silent on his background – despite previously claiming to be Nigerian.

It is also believed the 51- year-old is trying to be released from the detention centre in the South and return to the North-East.

Despite the delay, the efforts to deport Bassey were last night welcomed by his victims, who lost tens of thousands of pounds through Excelsis Aviation.

Jim Knight, who is owed at least £15,000 after being hired by Bassey as a public relations expert, said “good riddance”

after being told the fraudster was facing deportation.

He added: “He completely overturned a lot of people’s lives.”

Vicky Wiltshire, who was hired by Bassey as his personal assistant, said: “I’ll be glad to see the back of him.

“He messed with people’s lives and I just hope he isn’t able to do it again.”

Bassey was jailed for two years in December 2010 after pleading guilty to three charges of fraudulent trading, four charges of obtaining services dishonestly and a single charge of possessing articles for use in fraud.

Judge George Moorhouse told the businessman he was a compulsive liar who lived in a fantasy world.

The court heard how Bassey set up Excelsis in June 2009, promising to restore the air link between Durham Tees Valley Airport and London Heathrow.

A team of experienced airline managers was recruited, but Bassey’s boasts turned out to be a flight of fancy.

The court was told that Bassey used fake documents to suggest he had access to millions of dollars from US banks.

Far from being a high-flying businessman, he lived in a terraced house in Middlesbrough.

Michael Janes, director of Tees Valley web design company, E-Strands Ltd, which was never paid after creating the Excelsis website, confirmed the fraudster had been in touch with the Middlesbrough church where the two men met.

Mr Janes said: “I’ve heard he’s looking for three references and a place to stay so he can be released on bail from the detention centre.

“He’s also refusing to say where he’s from, so the authorities don’t know where to send him to – it seems he’s found a loophole.”

It is understood that Bassey was released from prison late last year and was immediately detained by the Border Agency officers.

Last night, officials confirmed that the fraudster was being held while plans to deport him were finalised.

A spokesman said: “We will always seek to remove any foreign national convicted of a serious crime and anyone from outside the European Economic Area, who is sentenced to 12 months or more in prison, is automatically considered for deportation on completion of their sentence.”

Bassey’s exploits have been recounted in a new book called Airline Scams and Scandals by Edward Pinnegar.

Comments (22)

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9:31am Sat 16 Jun 12

Homshaw1 says...

Amazing how lenient we seem to be in dealing with conmen.

Heard the guy involved in the National Distance Leaning fiasco was involved in a new business at Aycliffe
Amazing how lenient we seem to be in dealing with conmen. Heard the guy involved in the National Distance Leaning fiasco was involved in a new business at Aycliffe Homshaw1
  • Score: 0

9:32am Sat 16 Jun 12

Homshaw1 says...

Amazing how lenient we seem to be in dealing with conmen.

Heard the guy involved in the National Distance Leaning fiasco was involved in a new business at Aycliffe
Amazing how lenient we seem to be in dealing with conmen. Heard the guy involved in the National Distance Leaning fiasco was involved in a new business at Aycliffe Homshaw1
  • Score: 0

9:32am Sat 16 Jun 12

Homshaw1 says...

Amazing how lenient we seem to be in dealing with conmen.

Heard the guy involved in the National Distance Leaning fiasco was involved in a new business at Aycliffe
Amazing how lenient we seem to be in dealing with conmen. Heard the guy involved in the National Distance Leaning fiasco was involved in a new business at Aycliffe Homshaw1
  • Score: 0

9:32am Sat 16 Jun 12

Homshaw1 says...

Amazing how lenient we seem to be in dealing with conmen.

Heard the guy involved in the National Distance Leaning fiasco was involved in a new business at Aycliffe
Amazing how lenient we seem to be in dealing with conmen. Heard the guy involved in the National Distance Leaning fiasco was involved in a new business at Aycliffe Homshaw1
  • Score: 0

9:35am Sat 16 Jun 12

always right says...

Could you repeat that please.
Could you repeat that please. always right
  • Score: 6

10:17am Sat 16 Jun 12

Homshaw1 says...

always right wrote:
Could you repeat that please.
Sorry Had trouble with my computer
[quote][p][bold]always right[/bold] wrote: Could you repeat that please.[/p][/quote]Sorry Had trouble with my computer Homshaw1
  • Score: 1

10:49am Sat 16 Jun 12

smokin says...

send him back to the country stated on his passport if that's not the right one tough on him
send him back to the country stated on his passport if that's not the right one tough on him smokin
  • Score: 6

11:41am Sat 16 Jun 12

GeordieB says...

Al they have to do is look at the identity documents he used to open the bank accounts.
Al they have to do is look at the identity documents he used to open the bank accounts. GeordieB
  • Score: 1

12:43pm Sat 16 Jun 12

gold1953 says...

Smokin & Geordie......They are probably Fake.
Smokin & Geordie......They are probably Fake. gold1953
  • Score: 2

3:37pm Sat 16 Jun 12

ExWVDC says...

Tell him that he's being sent to Bali with a little something extra in his suitcase, I'm sure he'll break his silence then!!
Tell him that he's being sent to Bali with a little something extra in his suitcase, I'm sure he'll break his silence then!! ExWVDC
  • Score: 5

5:49pm Sat 16 Jun 12

Colcat says...

Surely the important thing about deportation is the from, not the where to! I don't particularly care where he goes as long as it's out of this country.
Surely the important thing about deportation is the from, not the where to! I don't particularly care where he goes as long as it's out of this country. Colcat
  • Score: 3

7:34pm Sat 16 Jun 12

stiv says...

Send him to zulu land and let thet be an end to it all
Send him to zulu land and let thet be an end to it all stiv
  • Score: 0

8:09pm Sat 16 Jun 12

Assurance says...

Yes, if he will not tell us where he is from, then send him to Zimbabwe. I am sure Robert Mugabe could use a man like him. Alternatively, imprison him indefinitely until he truthfully answers the question, then deport him.
Yes, if he will not tell us where he is from, then send him to Zimbabwe. I am sure Robert Mugabe could use a man like him. Alternatively, imprison him indefinitely until he truthfully answers the question, then deport him. Assurance
  • Score: 1

1:32am Sun 17 Jun 12

johnny_p says...

I'm not as concerned as to who he is, but that people were taken in by him. That someone living in a small terraced house in Middlesbrough, and driving a small second-hand car had the finances and experience to start and run an airline. Oh- and a Nigerian (people not exactly famed for their business ethics) too. Just what the hell were DVT Airport thinking? Am I alone here?
I'm not as concerned as to who he is, but that people were taken in by him. That someone living in a small terraced house in Middlesbrough, and driving a small second-hand car had the finances and experience to start and run an airline. Oh- and a Nigerian (people not exactly famed for their business ethics) too. Just what the hell were DVT Airport thinking? Am I alone here? johnny_p
  • Score: 2

6:01am Sun 17 Jun 12

Fossildog says...

Since he is an 'unknown quantity' he should be considered a high risk to the public. Therefore I suggest he should be jailed until he reveals where he is from. That would be common sense. So I expect he will be released, housed and fed and will live here happily in the UK for the rest of his days.
Since he is an 'unknown quantity' he should be considered a high risk to the public. Therefore I suggest he should be jailed until he reveals where he is from. That would be common sense. So I expect he will be released, housed and fed and will live here happily in the UK for the rest of his days. Fossildog
  • Score: 1

10:14am Sun 17 Jun 12

RobAycliffe says...

johnny_p wrote:
I'm not as concerned as to who he is, but that people were taken in by him. That someone living in a small terraced house in Middlesbrough, and driving a small second-hand car had the finances and experience to start and run an airline. Oh- and a Nigerian (people not exactly famed for their business ethics) too. Just what the hell were DVT Airport thinking? Am I alone here?
According to the article he hired a 'public relations expert', presumably to project the right image for him. Ironically he didn't get paid either. I wonder why the 'expert' didn't see that he had no substance.
[quote][p][bold]johnny_p[/bold] wrote: I'm not as concerned as to who he is, but that people were taken in by him. That someone living in a small terraced house in Middlesbrough, and driving a small second-hand car had the finances and experience to start and run an airline. Oh- and a Nigerian (people not exactly famed for their business ethics) too. Just what the hell were DVT Airport thinking? Am I alone here?[/p][/quote]According to the article he hired a 'public relations expert', presumably to project the right image for him. Ironically he didn't get paid either. I wonder why the 'expert' didn't see that he had no substance. RobAycliffe
  • Score: 2

10:26am Sun 17 Jun 12

glyn says...

I hear that Syria is nice at the moment
I hear that Syria is nice at the moment glyn
  • Score: 1

11:19am Sun 17 Jun 12

Not always right says...

johnny_p wrote:
I'm not as concerned as to who he is, but that people were taken in by him. That someone living in a small terraced house in Middlesbrough, and driving a small second-hand car had the finances and experience to start and run an airline. Oh- and a Nigerian (people not exactly famed for their business ethics) too. Just what the hell were DVT Airport thinking? Am I alone here?
Couldn't agree more
[quote][p][bold]johnny_p[/bold] wrote: I'm not as concerned as to who he is, but that people were taken in by him. That someone living in a small terraced house in Middlesbrough, and driving a small second-hand car had the finances and experience to start and run an airline. Oh- and a Nigerian (people not exactly famed for their business ethics) too. Just what the hell were DVT Airport thinking? Am I alone here?[/p][/quote]Couldn't agree more Not always right
  • Score: 2

12:36pm Sun 17 Jun 12

GeordieB says...

If he wants to be held in legal limbo, and by maintaining his silence it appears he does, then I believe there are some chalets available at Guantanamo Bay. They're used to keeping people outside the system for long periods of time.

Or perhaps a quick trip on Rendition Airways, to wherever MI5 / MI6 used last time perhaps?
If he wants to be held in legal limbo, and by maintaining his silence it appears he does, then I believe there are some chalets available at Guantanamo Bay. They're used to keeping people outside the system for long periods of time. Or perhaps a quick trip on Rendition Airways, to wherever MI5 / MI6 used last time perhaps? GeordieB
  • Score: -1

12:45pm Sun 17 Jun 12

stevegg says...

It just goes to show the shambles of our non existant border controls that he can get in unchallenged but our government is then powerless to deport him. UK- the worlds dumping ground for criminals and sroungers and the worlds welfare state!
It just goes to show the shambles of our non existant border controls that he can get in unchallenged but our government is then powerless to deport him. UK- the worlds dumping ground for criminals and sroungers and the worlds welfare state! stevegg
  • Score: 6

11:14am Mon 18 Jun 12

oliviaden6 says...

Another one sticks two fingers up at the Law. DNA test him and get a general idea, then send him to the nearest country. Or send him to Tristan DE Cuna.
Or just lock him up and throw away the key.
Another one sticks two fingers up at the Law. DNA test him and get a general idea, then send him to the nearest country. Or send him to Tristan DE Cuna. Or just lock him up and throw away the key. oliviaden6
  • Score: 1

1:05pm Sat 30 Jun 12

Duke of Aycliffe says...

Whatever African country he 's from will stay silent as they probably don't want him either cos he's a big lad. Who ate all Zimbabwe's pies? Victor did...
Whatever African country he 's from will stay silent as they probably don't want him either cos he's a big lad. Who ate all Zimbabwe's pies? Victor did... Duke of Aycliffe
  • Score: 0

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